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Parents at Hackney school call for ban on cars due to air pollution fears

Petition launched urging council to make London Fields Primary part of borough's School Streets initiative...

Parents in Hackney are calling for cars to be banned from the street a primary school lies on at the times they drop off their children in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.

Similar measures, aimed at combating air pollution, have been adopted at other schools in the London borough under the School Streets  initiative from the local council, reports the Hackney Gazette.

One of those is St John the Baptist Church of England Primary School in Crondall Street, Hoxton, where from Monday cars will be banned in term time from 8.30am to 9.15am, and 3.15pm to 4pm.

The street will be pedestrian and cycling only during those hours, with drivers ignoring the rules facing a £130 fine if they are caught on camera.

However, local residents will be able to register their vehicles to allow them to use them at those times.

A similar scheme is due to be introduced at Tyssen Community in Oldhill Street, Stamford Hill from September.

One parent of children at London Fields Primary School has launched a petition calling for will follow suit in September, and London Fields parents want their school to be next on the list.

Kylie Barlow, whose children aged five and six walk to school each day, said: “We are really concerned that our children could be harmed.

“We hope to come up with other ideas too, because the rest of the time there will be cars going past the school polluting.

“We haven’t had any negative feedback from anyone yet – hopefully they can recognise the positive aspect of it and that their children will have air to breathe. Obviously local people concerned about pollution can sign it too.”

The petition, hosted on the 38 Degrees website, says:

London Schools are exposed to illegally high levels of pollution. Air pollution particularly impacts children, with serious consequences, including:

Increased likelihood of asthma and allergies 
Damage to brain development 
Stunted lung growth for life 
Heart disease in later life 
Increased incidence of anxiety, depression and Attention Deficit Disorder 
Increased risk of cancer

As a group of parents, we support efforts to improve air quality and want London Fields Primary School to be the next school to join Hackney Council’s School Streets scheme. 

School Streets reduce motor traffic on the roads outside schools at drop-off and pick-up times.

School Streets reduce pollution and create a safer environment during these set times whilst maintaining access for residents, businesses, pedestrians and cyclists.

Please sign our petition so we can demonstrate support for London Fields Primary School to be a School Street.

You can sign the petition here.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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